Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Enhancing Tolerance For Ambiguity Through Mindfulness: Implications For Education (#788)

Christina Spinelli 1 , Marim Ibrahim 1 , Bassam Khoury 1
  1. McGil University, Montreal, QUEBEC, Canada

In an increasingly complex and changing world, one’s ability to tolerate ambiguous situations (i.e. novel and complex circumstances open to more than one interpretation) carries important educational and social implications. For students, learning can be an ambiguous process; particularly in fields like healthcare where students are often simultaneously trying to learn and apply their knowledge. This ambiguity can be distressing, and students may react negatively (eg., in fear) towards the learning process. Considering this, a promising area of study is to explore how to directly address and cultivate ambiguity tolerance (AT) in students rather than its develop passively over time. One proposed method is through mindfulness training; thus, the current study examines the effect of mindfulness induction on AT in undergraduate students. Participants (N = 50; ongoing recruitment) completed one of three induction tasks (2 mindfulness, 1 mind-wandering) followed by a questionnaire and behavioural measure of AT and judgment certainty. It is predicted those in the mindfulness conditions will show higher AT and lower judgment certainty than the control participants. Study findings can offer practical suggestions on how to support students in developing the skills needed to better manage ambiguity in school, work, and everyday life.